Brookline Stand Up

Meet The Preacher
April 17, 2010, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Brother Ali, Concerts, Unsolicited Advice

A few months ago, I was lamenting to my friend Frank about how I hadn’t been to a good concert in such a long time. The last few shows I had attended had been either unpleasant in some way (aka the Weezy no-show) or flat out disasters (trust me, you don’t wanna know.) After this series of fails, I had lost all desire to ever see a live show again. Frank offered me a solution in the form of Brother Ali.

At first I was unsure. Everything about him just seemed so random. From Minneapolis? Random. Legally blind? Even more random. Albino? Ok, I think you get the idea. But as Frank began to send me some tracks, I started to warm up to the idea and we got tickets to see him perform at the Paradise along with the up-and-coming Toki Wright and Evidence (1/3 of hip-hop group Dilated Peoples.)

Hands down one of the best hip-hop concerts I’ve ever been to. Part of it had to do with the show being in a muchsmaller venue than I’m used to. The Paradise makes for a very intimate setting – the performers were literally sweating all over us. But most of it was because of the raw talent Brother Ali brought to the stage.┬áHonestly, I could go on and on about how great he was, but this isn’t a concert review. This post is all about telling you to go listen to him. Immediately. I promise you will like him.

Though I enjoy my fair share of rap songs about bling, poppin’ bottles and big rims, Brother Ali’s inspiring and powerful lyrics are refreshing. There is an air of intelligence to his words, as opposed to lines like “Dear Mr. Toilet, I’m the shit.” (Sorry to throw you under the bus there, Weezy.) Anyways, I really could go on and on, but you probably should just hear for yourself.

Below are a couple of my favorite Brother Ali tracks based on my very limited collection. Please feel free to contribute.

1. Puzzle

2. Freedom Ain’t Free

3. Uncle Sam Goddamn *If you couldn’t tell from the title, this song harbors some pretty intense anti-American sentiment. In fact, as a result, Verizon Wireless withdrew their sponsorship of Ali after he refused to change the lyrics. Regardless of the controversy, this is just a flatout good song. I love its gritty, bluesy feel.

So, let me know what you think of Brother Ali, contribute any Ali tracks you feel I missed, and seriously, if you hear he’s coming to your town, get tickets. He is ridiculous live and you will become an instant fan. Mark my words.